President Obama has steadfastly refused to provide weapons to Ukraine with which that beleaguered nation might defend itself from Russian aggression. Heaven forbid that a weapon from the U.S. might be used to kill a Russian invader or even a Ukrainian fighter aligned with Russia. What would Putin say?
In lieu of weapons, the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with certain non-lethal equipment. But according to the Washington Post some of that equipment is falling apart:
The United States has delivered more than $260 million in nonlethal military equipment to help the government of Ukraine in its fight against a Russian-backed insurgency, but some of the U.S.-supplied gear meant to protect and transport Ukrainian military forces is little more than junk.
On the outskirts of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, for example, one Ukrainian special forces unit is using U.S.-supplied Humvees dating from the late 1980s and early 1990s, based on serial numbers on the vehicles.
Three of the Humvees had plastic doors and windows — barely any protection at all. The tires on one of the trucks blew apart after driving only a few hundred kilometers, the result of sitting in a warehouse too long, said one mechanic.
Another infantry unit of approximately 120 men received from the Pentagon a single bulletproof vest — a type that U.S. troops stopped using in combat during the mid-2000s.
The fighting in Ukraine no longer makes headlines in the U.S., but it persists. According to the Post’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff, attacks along Ukraine’s front lines have spiked in recent weeks, with Ukrainian troops reporting casualties almost daily.
The Defense Department blames its failure to provide decent equipment on the fact that the U.S. was wholly unprepared for Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. I question whether this is a sufficient explanation, and it certainly isn’t a satisfactory one. Whose fault is it that, even in light of past Russian aggression under Putin, we were completely wrong-footed by what has transpired in Ukraine?
But all is not lost. A Pentagon official told the Post that, although “the stuff [we’re sending is stuff] that’s sitting around somewhere that no service can use,” the Humvees can be stripped for spare parts. “They’re not good enough to drive, but you can tear them apart and cannibalize [them].”
Free stuff at home; free junk abroad. That’s the Obama way.
It is said that there is no better friend and no worse enemy than a U.S. Marine. Stories like this one suggest that the reverse is true of Barack Obama’s America, and that, not content with losing ground for the U.S. all over the world, our president is turning America into a laughingstock.